Nursing Students Receive Nightingale Scholarships
The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing program was originally developed by the VNA South Central to be a collaborative effort to celebrate outstanding nurses and elevate the nursing profession. The goals of the program are to encourage retention, focus public attention, recognize the breadth and scope of nursing practice at the local level, and inspire future nurses. To help achieve these goals, for the past twelve years, the Nightingale program has provided scholarships to outstanding students from five local nursing schools: Gateway Community College - Department of Nursing, Quinnipiac University - School of Nursing, Sacred Heart University - School of Nursing, Southern Connecticut State University - Department of Nursing, and the Yale University School of Nursing.
Jennifer Walker, the recipient from Gateway Community College, is a second-degree student who holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Public Administration. Jennifer’s experiences volunteering for the Peace Corps in Namibia and working with underserved populations in Texas encouraged her to pursue a career in nursing as well as provided her with the essential skills to deliver care to a variety of patient populations. She is described by clinical faculty as a student who “possesses compassion and empathy, a keen intellect and desire to learn, good moral and ethical principles, and excellent critical thinking skills.”
Jacqueline Ines Palmer, the recipient from Quinnipiac University, is a senior nursing student who was recently inducted into the Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, having achieved and maintained a GPA of 3.54. “She has a strong work ethic, is determined, mature and responsible; yet always willing to seek support from her peers or faculty when needed”, according to faculty and staff at Quinnipiac. Jacqueline hopes to achieve an entry level position in critical care upon graduation and plans to pursue an advanced degree as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
Michelle Sheridan, the recipient from Sacred Heart University, upholds high academic standards while balancing work and community service. She was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society as a junior nursing student and has been on the Dean’s List all four years. Michelle is also a mentor for underclassmen and volunteers throughout her time in different events to support the nursing program. She is described by nursing faculty as “a quiet leader; one who is unassuming and humble.”
John LeBlanc, the recipient from Southern Connecticut State University, is an Accelerated Career Entry (ACE), second degree student in the prelicensure baccalaureate nursing program. His prior academic work was completed at Temple University with a major in Spanish and a minor in Clinical Psychology. His experiences on a mission trip to an impoverished village in Guatemala solidified his decision to pursue nursing education. John is determined to pursue a career that will provide him with an opportunity to advocate for those who are physically and/or psychologically compromised.
Erica Gibson, the recipient from Yale University, has been a Registered Nurse since 2008 and is currently pursuing an MSN in the Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A/G ACNP) program. Erica serves on the Ethics and MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit) End of Life Committees at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Erica has written her thesis and was accepted as a poster presenter to represent Yale School of Nursing at the Eastern Nurses Research Society’s annual symposium in Washington D.C.
All 2015 scholarship recipients were honored at a special reception hosted by the VNA South Central on April 15. In addition, thanks to the generosity of Platinum sponsor Yale-New Haven Hospital, they will be recognized at the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, which will be held on Wednesday, May 6 at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven.
For more information about the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, including sponsorship information and how to purchase tickets, visit the Nightingale website at http://www.nightingalenursingawards.org/index.php/home-newhaven or call the Nightingale hotline at 203-859-6765.
To make a contribution to the VNA South Central in support of this important event, please contact Melissa Healy, Community Development Specialist, at 203-859-6054.
The Evolution of the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing
The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing program was developed in 2001 out of a desire to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. As a nursing organization with more than a century of service, the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut took the lead in creating the award ceremony. The Nightingale vision was quickly embraced by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Yale-New Haven Hospital and The Hospital of Saint Raphael, whose financial support brought the idea to fruition.
In 2003, the program grew to include concurrent galas in the Hartford, Norwich-New London, and Stamford regions, as well as the original program in New Haven. The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing is open and inclusive of all health care settings—hospitals, home health care, health centers, schools, health departments, long-term care, nursing schools, medical practices and more. In 2015 the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing will be held in three locations; Hartford, New Haven, and New London.